|Publication number||US6701298 B1|
|Application number||US 09/376,443|
|Publication date||2 Mar 2004|
|Filing date||18 Aug 1999|
|Priority date||18 Aug 1999|
|Publication number||09376443, 376443, US 6701298 B1, US 6701298B1, US-B1-6701298, US6701298 B1, US6701298B1|
|Original Assignee||Envinta/Energetics Group|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (14), Non-Patent Citations (1), Referenced by (42), Classifications (20), Legal Events (5)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
1. Field of the Invention
This invention relates to a computerized method for establishing systems for managing the energy use of an energy consuming end user. It is particularly directed toward larger end users, be they corporate (industrial/commercial) or government/institutional for whom, controlling energy consumption and costs is generally done poorly, due to lack of formal management systems. The method and system of this invention facilitate development of strategies for reducing energy consumption and monitoring progress made on an ongoing basis toward the fulfillment of strategy objectives and, ultimately, a reduction in energy consumption and cost. All of this is achieved independently of any physical system by which the utilization of energy is controlled.
2. Description of Prior Art
Conventional energy management, particularly in commercial, corporate and industrial settings, is a technical process, often carried out by systems and methods which directly control energy consumption. Such energy management systems frequently involve measurement of one or more parameters associated with energy consumption. See, for example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,216,623 to Barrett et al., which teaches a system for monitoring various, diverse energy characteristics of an energy consuming system, which system includes a data gathering device that accumulates data representing each of the sensed energy characteristics in real time, which data represents the magnitude of the sensed energy characteristic as well as the time at which the magnitude is sensed. The data that is accumulated for each of the sensed energy characteristics is periodically transmitted to a remote analysis station where a detailed analysis of the sensed energy characteristics is performed and a report generated containing summaries of the sensed data in the form of listings of compressed data as well as graphs such as histograms and graphs correlating different energy characteristics of the energy consuming system.
U.S. Pat. No. 4,979,122 to Davis et al. teaches a method and apparatus for monitoring power in which a power monitor samples a plurality of line cycles during an observation window to generate a plurality of voltage-current sample sets for each line cycle. The sampling of the sample sets is timed such that the voltage-current sample sets are taken at different relative time positions. The power monitor stores incoming voltage-current sample data in one memory area and concurrently analyzes sample data already stored in another memory area.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,237,507 to Chasek teaches a system for developing real time economic incentives to encourage efficient use of the resources of a regulated electric utility. The system comprises sensors that monitor out-of-doors temperatures, mean power supplied by each generator in a utility system during each hour and energy consumed by each customer per hour recorded in calendar-time, computers that are programmed with software developed from algorithms which generate demand-related hourly prices and bonus/surcharge distributions while keeping gross revenues fixed and a subsystem that feeds back pricing information to consumers. Based upon information provided by the system, such as pricing information to consumers, energy utilization efficiency is promoted.
One problem associated with such prior art systems and methods is a tendency toward stagnation. That is, the ability to improve energy utilization efficiency is limited by the operating characteristic of the monitoring and control equipment. Once the equipment has been set up to provide a given improvement in energy utilization efficiency, there is no opportunity for further improving the energy utilization efficiency of the system.
Further, the approach generally taken for energy cost control up to this invention does not impact on management systems and practices of the user. Nor does it integrate with other improvement programs that may be undertaken by the user. Prior to this invention, there has been no way to quantify the effectiveness of management processes for energy cost control and as a result there was no process possible for benchmarking energy management practices. As a result, it was difficult for users to know how well they were performing.
Accordingly, it is one object of this invention to provide a method and system for energy management which is dynamic and, thus, provides the potential for continuously improving energy utilization efficiency up to an optimum efficiency level.
It is another object of this invention to provide a method and system for energy management which functions independently of any energy usage monitoring and control equipment.
It is yet another object of this invention to provide a computerized method for establishing management systems for use by energy consuming end users.
These and other objects of this invention are achieved by a computerized method for energy management comprising the steps of collecting data relating to energy usage and energy-related policies and practices in an automated data processing device, analyzing the data to derive a diagnosis of energy management effectiveness based upon analysis of a plurality of effectiveness elements, determining the relative priority for taking action for each of the effectiveness elements analysed and determining critical elements for action, generating recommendations for improving energy management effectiveness in each critical element, and benchmarking the result against those of other operations.
Diagnosis of energy management effectiveness in accordance with the method of this invention involves consideration of a plurality of effectiveness elements and a level of achievement made in each of the effectiveness elements. Thus, the diagnosis includes an indication of progress achieved with respect to each effectiveness element which, in turn, translates into a determination of actual performance with respect to goals set for each effectiveness element. The diagnosis also defines critical actions to be taken first in order to best effectuate the desired energy utilization objectives. It does this through a novel analysis process, which considers the gap between current practice and best practice in each element, and the priority level set by the user of the software. Information provided by the diagnosis can then be formulated into a series of reports by which the management of an organization can develop strategies, energy-related policies and practices for improving energy utilization efficiency. The diagnostic results can then be automatically benchmarked against other organizations on a web-site benchmarking database.
These and other objects and features of this invention will be better understood from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a general flow diagram for the method of this invention; and
FIG. 2 is a detail of the diagnosis portion or session of the method of this invention.
The second set of data for input into the data processing device is energy use data, which is used (along with SIC code in the energy saving database 9) in the quantification of an organization's energy savings potential 10. In addition, it also contributes to the identification of opportunities for greenhouse gas emission reductions 11. The energy use data collected includes energy sources, for example electricity, natural gas or fuel oil, the annual consumption of each type of fuel and the annual cost for each type of fuel. Also included is data regarding the percentage of renewable energy utilized which is necessary for an accurate calculation of greenhouse gas emissions 11. As conditions change, the “input report” may be modified to reflect the changes.
The next step in the method of this invention is the analysis of the data to arrive at a diagnosis of energy management effectiveness. For details of the diagnostic procedure, see FIG. 2. Data analysis (diagnostic) involves consideration of a plurality of elements of effective energy management 13, each of which elements is considered on the basis of responses by a user to queries regarding each of the elements. The queries 14, presented in simple statement form, are typically statements of organizational attitude towards energy management and activities and practices related to the management of energy use. In each case, the user provides a response indicative of the level of progress made by the organization towards implementation of each of the queried actions. There are a defined set of queried actions corresponding to each level of progress 15, 16, 17, 18 and 19 towards achievement of each effective element to which the queries relate. At the outset, for each element, the initial level of achievement is the lowest level 15. The user may progress through to higher levels of achievement for each effectiveness element to the highest level 19 based upon positive user responses to the queries for each effective element, providing the user is also able to verify achievement of the requirements of a qualifying question (‘self-audit’ or ‘challenger’ question) which tests a practical example relating to the general statements at that level of progress. Thus, to move from Level 0 (15) to Level 1 (16), a user must respond in the affirmative to each of the queries for each effectiveness element for Level 0 (15). To move from Level 1 (16) to Level 2 (17), in addition to affirmatively responding to each of the queries, the user must also conduct a self-audit for verifying the achievement of the requirements thereof and, thus, confirm responses given to the queries. If the user is unable to respond affirmatively to all of the queries and verify the achievement of the requirements at any level of progress, the user does not move to the next level of progress, but rather is given the opportunity to set priorities 20 for actions to be taken to enable movement to the next level of progress. Such priorities include immediate action, action in less than 12 months and no action, as shown in FIG. 2. Responses to the queries for each effectiveness element are stored 3, thereby enabling a user to compare current levels of achievement to previous levels of achievement for a given effectiveness element 9. Upon completion of query responses for each effectiveness element 9, the effectiveness elements are subjected to a priority ranking 5. This ranking, to define ‘critical’ elements 5, is done utilizing an element gap analysis 4 (the higher priority being accorded to elements in which the gap between current practice and ‘best’ practice 19 is the largest), combined with a user priority setting defined for each effectiveness element by the user.
Upon completion of the data analysis, a diagnosis is derived for each of the effectiveness elements, which defines the level of development or achievement by the user with respect to each of the effectiveness elements, the priority given by the user to achievement of each of the effectiveness elements and an indication of effectiveness elements for which critical action 7 is required.
Examples of effectiveness elements include such things as “demonstrated corporate commitment”, “planning processes”, “awareness and training”, “energy operating budgets”, “operating procedures”, “maintenance procedures”, processes for auditing progress and the like.
As a result of the diagnosis, recommendations regarding actions to be taken for improving energy management effectiveness are generated automatically for each of the critical elements. Based upon the recommendations for improving energy management effectiveness, in accordance with one embodiment, the method of this invention further comprises generating an estimate of potehtial energy savings 10 upon achievement of all of the effectiveness elements. In accordance with another embodiment, the method of this invention further comprises generating an estimate of potential greenhouse gas emissions reductions 12 which may be achieved upon implementation of each of the effetiveness elements.
While in the foregoing specification this invention has been described in relation to certain preferred embodiments thereof, and many details have been set forth for purpose of illustration, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that the invention is susceptible to additional embodiments and that certain of the details described herein can be varied considerably without departing from the basic principles of the invention.
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|U.S. Classification||705/7.39, 705/412, 702/188, 702/62, 700/291, 705/7.38|
|International Classification||G06Q50/06, G06Q10/10, G06Q10/06, G01R21/133|
|Cooperative Classification||G01R21/133, G06Q10/06393, G06Q10/10, G06Q50/06, G06Q10/0639|
|European Classification||G06Q10/10, G06Q50/06, G06Q10/06393, G06Q10/0639, G01R21/133|
|2 Jan 2004||AS||Assignment|
|28 Feb 2006||CC||Certificate of correction|
|31 Aug 2007||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|16 Sep 2009||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: ENERGETICS PTY LTD, AUSTRALIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:ENVINTA/ENERGETICS GROUP;REEL/FRAME:023234/0905
Effective date: 20090915
|29 Aug 2011||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 8